2014 Domaine Giachino Altesse
Region: Savoie < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic in the vineyard and winery, practicing biodynamics, red clay soils, 600m elevation, 40-year old vines, hand harvested, stainless steel ferment, minimal added SO2 at bottling
Winemaker: Frédéric Giachino
Domaine Giachino was created in 1998 when Frédéric took over a tiny family estate from his grandfather. Brother David joined him, and they enlarged the estate to 9 hectares, converted to organic farming in 2006 and reintroduced natural predators into their fields, enabling them to toss out all herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals. Their wines, not just the grapes, are certified organic.
Altesse is a white grape variety also called “Roussette” in Savoie. It makes wines that are full-bodied and aromatic, with the ability to age. Here, the grapes are pressed slowly and gently using a pneumatic system, and the vats are thermo-regulated to 5°C in order to clarify the wine. This slow but very natural process allows the Giachinos to drastically reduce, and often eliminate, the use of sulphites. 10 days later they extract the clear fluid and let it ferment naturally. The result is a unique and super delicious wine with creamy lemon curd and pineapple notes, racy acidity and a stony alpine minerality that lingers. It’s mountain wine, for chugging in Tahoe or on a deck, gazing at trees, with cheese, lots of cheese. Match made in heaven.